When it comes to Nas' best lyrics, there's plenty of ground to cover. We decided to pick 15 of Nas' best lyrics to rank in order, to make it even easier for you. The New York rapper has become a legend in the hip-hop scene and beyond, and his lyrics are a large part of why that is the case. So without further ado, here's our list.
15 of Nas' Best Lyrics, Ranked
15. "So he moves with his peers, different blocks, different years / Sittin on, different benches like it's musical chairs."
Song: "2nd Childhood"
Nas has an incredible ability to tell stories of the streets in a way that only a true poet can. In this instance on "2nd Childhood," he tells a vivid depiction of a person who's in a constant state of movement - insinuating the person is running from his past to some degree.
14. "Worst enemies want to be my best friends."
Nas has a way with words, and that's no secret. On "Success" with Jay-Z, he spoke of the unusual way that his enemies are craving to be on the same side as him, just as it's said in the 48 Laws of Power. It's strange, but just another thing he's encountered on his long journey to the top.
13. "Don't say my cars topless, say the titties is out."
Song: "Made You Look"
On "Made You Look," Nas playfully exercises his poetic ability in a way that gives you no other option but to laugh. Rappers have a way of saying things in unique ways - the good ones, at least. However, Nas is on an entirely higher level with his ability.
12. "My heart and my lungs was affected from Henny's and getting blunted."
Song: "Doo Rags"
On "Doo Rags," Nas speaks of the downside of the lavish rapper lifestyle, talking about the negative effects it's taken on his health. This speaks to the balance of everything in the world, even the shiniest, most enticing things, like blunts and Henny, for instance.
11. "I would be Ivy League if America played fair, poor excuse"
Song: "Triple Beam Dreams"
On "Triple Beam Dreams," Nas shares the sad truth that he would've been able to go to an Ivy League school, had it not been for the systemic downfalls of our country. The odds have been against him from the start, yet he's still managed to make it this far. He's just done it in his own way.
10. "I rap for listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners."
Song: "Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)"
Next up on our list of Nas' best lyrics is his verse from "Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)." Here, the rapper speaks of his audience in specific terms: "listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies, and prisoners." Not only is it true, but it rhymes perfectly.
9. "This is my hood, I'ma rep til the death of it, 'til everybody come home."
Song: "One Mic"
Nas has always been very proud about his roots, and he showcases that on his verse within "One Mic." He talks with his chest out on the topic of his hood, saying how you can expect him to be representing it until the very end.
8. "New York streets where killers'll walk like Pistol Pete."
Song: "Get Down"
On "God's Son," Nas speaks of New York in true Nas fashion, giving listeners a peek at this dark, evil side of the city that never sleeps. He speaks truthfully, telling a story that many were reluctant or unable to accurately tell themselves.
7. "Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazing."
Song: "It Ain't Hard to Tell"
On "It Ain't Hard to Tell," Nas shines a light on his own prowess, speaking on himself as "half-man, half-amazing." It's no surprise that a rapper would be gassing themselves up, but Nas does it in a way that just about everyone else can't.
6. "Street scriptures for lost souls, in the crossroads."
Song: "Nas Is Like"
Next up on our list of Nas' best lyrics is his verse from "Nas Is Like." In this particular verse, Nas talks about his music in a way that explains the context. He makes "street scriptures for lost souls, in the crossroads," as he says in his own words.
5. "I thought Jordans and a gold chain was living it up."
Song: "Street Dreams"
On "Street Dreams," Nas talks about what he used to believe success meant: Jordans and jewelry. Based on the tense of the word "thought," it's pretty clear that this was a past mindset he had, one which he's since moved on from and outgrown.
4. "I'm out for dead presidents to represent me."
Song: "The World Is Yours"
In one of Nas' most iconic verses of all-time on "The World Is Yours," he said a line that could never be forgotten by anybody, in the hip-hop scene and outside of it: "I'm out for dead presidents to represent me." This hook would go down in hip-hop history as one of the very best.
3. "There's one life, one love, so there can only be one king."
Song: "The Message"
In "The Message," Nas speaks on the truth of the world he lives in: that there's only "one life, one love, so there can only be one king." He uses deductive reasoning to tell a story that many might not have noticed on their own.
2. "I never sleep 'cause sleep is the cousin of death."
Song: "NY State of Mind"
On one of Nas' most memorable songs, "NY State of Mind," he dropped off an absolutely unforgettable bar: "I never sleep 'cause sleep is the cousin of death." While it's not the first time you might've heard this, it rings perfectly true amongst the rest of his ear-grabbing lyrics.
1. "A two day stay, you may say I need the time alone, to relax my dome, no phone, left the nine at home."
Song: "One Love"
At the number one spot on our list of Nas' best lyrics, we've got his verse from "One Love," which speaks on his need to take a step back from things at times. He gracefully speaks on how even one of New York's most iconic figures ever needs to take a break to let his mind rest. Nobody does it like Nas, and this list should've given you a pretty clear idea of why.
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